When you think of Christmas caroling, you probably think of carolers going from door to door singing, but that isn?t how things used to be. Caroling originally had nothing to do with Christmas. Christmas caroling in the traditional sense is actually two older traditions combined.
So, where did carol singing come from?
Originally, caroling had nothing to do with Christmas. Carols are just songs stemming from medieval tradition. Medieval carols festive songs that are usually religious, but are not necessarily connected to church worship. In medieval times, carols were sung and played during festivities and dances (since they didn?t have DJs like we do now).
What is a Christmas carol?
The origin of the Christmas carol comes from the medieval carols, but their lyrics revolve around the theme of Christmas. Traditionally, Christmas carols stick with their roots and follow medieval chord patterns. That?s often how you can tell the difference between Christmas carols and Christmas songs. The Christmas carol gained notoriety around the protestant reformation for use as worship.
Why do we go from house to house caroling?
This is where two traditions emerge. While Christmas carols are the songs sung, Christmas caroling is the act of singing and spreading cheer to neighbors. Caroling originally meant neighbors wishing each other good fortune and often did not involve singing at all. The two traditions of caroling and carols merged in Victorian England when church music began to merge with Christian folk music. Instead of neighbors spreading good fortune and figgy pudding, they spread good cheer through song.